By Philip Jankowski
On Wednesday, Fort Hood Col. Viet Xuan Luong will become the first Vietnamese American to be made a general in U.S. history in a ceremony that will include the participation of Austin police and members of the local Vietnamese community.
Members of the Police Department’s office of community liaison will accompany more than 100 members of Austin’s Vietnamese-American community to a public ceremony in which Luong will be promoted to brigadier general. Organizations involved are the Vietnamese-American Heritage Foundation, Vietnamese-American Community of Austin and the Vietnamese Senior Citizen’s Association.
Luong’s family evacuated Vietnam as political refugees during the fall of Saigon in 1975 and emigrated to the United States. He is the deputy commander of maneuvers for the 1st Cavalry Division based in Fort Hood.
Binh Nguyen, the Austin police liaison to the Asian community, said Luong’s promotion marks a historical moment for all Vietnamese-Americans. Nguyen is a retired soldier with the U.S. Army who served in the 1st Infantry Division.
“It’s a very proud moment for myself,” Nguyen said. “It’s rare to come across another Vietnamese-American in the Army let alone one so highly ranked.”
The ceremony is open to the public and begins at 9 a.m. at Cooper Field at Fort Hood.